Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mt. Hope Academy @ The Live & Learn Studio ~ May 2013

Food For Thought

"If you sit kids down hour after hour doing low-grade clerical work, don't be surprised when they start to fidget." "The arts aren't just important because they raise math skills, they're important because they speak to parts of children's ...being which are otherwise untouched." "In place of curiosity, what we have is a culture of compliance." "Education is not a mechanical system, it's a human system." "Culture is an organic term."

:: The Scole Sisters Arrive @ Inside Classical Education (I am extraordinarily grateful for being surrounded by friends who value learning and growing in community! Not only have I had the privilege of being in a book club with a lovely group of women for more than nine years, but I also participate in a monthly book club with a few ladies from our local CC groups in which we discuss great books. The conversations have been wonderful, and I am blessed by a like-minded community that fosters a culture of learning.)

Could there be a Schole Sisters group in your future? Here is the recipe: Gather three or more like-minded souls and commit to meet together every two weeks for two and half hours. Select a great book (a classic, a book attested to be excellent). Read before gathering. Take notes and prepare questions (write in the book!). Prepare good food and drink. Choose a beautiful setting that is quiet, with no distractions. Discuss, converse, talk. Laugh. Go slow. Repeat.

::  The Slow School Movement @ Beauty in Education

The idea of Slow is to counter the rush and hurry in the modern world, and the emphasis on efficiency, by slowing things down, giving them more attention and love, and aiming at quality rather than merely quantity.

::  Do You Know What An Odyssey Is? @ CiRCE Institute (Whoa. Long article, but worth the investment.)

That is what an education, and particularly this educational journey you are about to embark on, is supposed to do for you: to help you to recover and refurbish your speech so that what you yourself say has its proper significance and the language others use comes alive with meaning for you. To put it succinctly: educated people know not only what they really mean but also what they are actually saying. Let me illustrate that effect with the word “odyssey”. When you have finished reading and talking about Homer’s epic, The Odyssey, the common noun “an odyssey” will have all sorts of fresh significance when you see it in a book. You might even use it yourself on some proper occasion. For you will have begun to be literate, and you will be entitled as well as be able to use all sorts of words to express what is in your well-stocked minds and full hearts…

You will be educated, which means that you will be interested where others are bored, that you will notice unities where others experience randomness, and that you will intend meanings where others are just spouting words. For exactly that is supposed to be the result of becoming literate: The world becomes a thick texture of significance that you know how to “access.”

::  What if classical school educators and classical homeschool educators could collaborate on a friendly, resource-rich website? Here it is:

::  On privilege and choice by my friend Nicole @ Around the Elegant Bend

College is a privilege, no doubt about it. But privilege is slippery, messy; it is not something you do or do not have. It comes in degrees. That he is in college at all is a result of hard, hard work, a series of happy accidents, dedication, planning that was both haphazard and unwittingly brilliant, and, yes, privilege.

::  “SITTING IS THE NEW SMOKING” — What We Can Do About Killer Couches, Sedentary Schools, and the Pandemic of Inactivity by Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods @ Children and Nature

And children? Think of schools. Some do a good job getting kids moving. But at other schools, too many students spend most of their time sitting. At their desks, in front of computers, taking tests, sitting in schools where recess and gym class have been restricted or eliminated. Even in preschools, most children sit in the classroom for most of the day — and even when they go outside, more than half of their activities remain sedentary. Then they’re driven home (sitting) to sit some more. It’s killing them. It’s killing us.

::   Principal fires security guards to hire art teachers — and transforms elementary school @ The Daily Nightly on NBC News

But now, three years later, the school is almost unrecognizable. Brightly colored paintings, essays of achievement, and motivational posters line the halls. The dance studio has been resurrected, along with the band room, and an artists’ studio.

::  The Creative Mind and the Structure of the Soul by Andrew Kern @ CiRCE Institute

"If God created and we are His image, then creation and the creative mind is not something for a Christian or a classical educator to dismiss. It is something to build one's life on. It is the means to understanding."

::  Getting It Wrong: Surprising Tips on How to Learn @ Scientific American

People remember things better, longer, if they are given very challenging tests on the material, tests at which they are bound to fail. In a series of experiments, they showed that if students make an unsuccessful attempt to retrieve information before receiving an answer, they remember the information better than in a control condition in which they simply study the information. Trying and failing to retrieve the answer is actually helpful to learning.

::  Have American Parents Got It All Backwards? @ Huffington Post

The parent I used to be and the parent I am now both have the same goal: to raise self-reliant, self-assured, successful children. But 12 years of parenting, over five years of living on and off in Japan, two years of research, investigative trips to Europe and Asia and dozens of interviews with psychologists, child development experts, sociologists, educators, administrators and parents in Japan, Korea, China, Finland, Germany, Sweden, France, Spain, Brazil and elsewhere have taught me that though parents around the world have the same goals, American parents like me (despite our very best intentions) have gotten it all backwards.

:: One Class to Rule Them All by my friend Hannah @ Here in the Lovely Woods

“Homeschool" magic. Pure magic. That is what I love about homeschooling--the way community, creativity, and rigorous study can come together to make magic. Homeschooling just means that you as a parent create educational and relational opportunities and experiences for your kids! It doesn't have to be at home. Or isolated. Make it what you want it to be.

::  A Nation of Wimps @ Psychology Today

Behold the wholly sanitized childhood, without skinned knees or the occasional C in history. "Kids need to feel badly sometimes," says child psychologist David Elkind, professor at Tufts University. "We learn through experience and we learn through bad experiences. Through failure we learn how to cope."

Messing up, however, even in the playground, is wildly out of style. Although error and experimentation are the true mothers of success, parents are taking pains to remove failure from the equation.

::  Service Recovery @ Enjoying the Small Things (oh, I adore Kelle Hampton’s blog)

"There’s something about that recovery process that feels so good. If nothing ever broke, you’d never know the thrill of fixing it. If you never made mistakes, you’d never learn from them. And if you never experienced the pang of a little emptiness from time to time, you’d never know the satisfaction of being filled back up. Or maybe that’s just the silver linings talking."

::  The Freeing Thing About the Grammar Stage @ Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood

My challenge to myself and to you is: FREE YOURSELF from over-complicated goals! And don't compare yourself or your family to another. Read literature with your children, and show them how to work diligently on math skills, and build their [your] long-term memory work skills. And have fun doing it! Let's work on narration and dictation and memory work so that when we launch our children into Challenge [or the Logic & Rhetoric stages], they will soar.

:One Thing Your Daughter Doesn’t Need You To Say @ Chatting the Sky

Here’s what I came up with: She isn’t supposed to be an example. Her friends don’t need an example, they need a friend. A real one. An honest one. A touchable one. They need a friend who doesn’t think she’s better than everyone, but one who knows she isn’t. They need a friend who knows she needs Jesus.

Plautus, a Roman poet c. 200 B.C. from :
"The gods confound the man who first found out
How to distinguish hours! Confound him, too,
Who in this place set up a sundial,
To cut and hack my days so wretchedly
Into small portions."

If you’ve made it this far, you deserve a rolling-on-the-floor-hilarious link:

::  Worst End of School Year Mom Ever @ Jen Hatmaker (I think I died laughing.)

“Then Ben tells me Tuesday that he needs a Ben Franklin costume for the Living History Museum today, and I’m like what fresh hell is this?? I have no idea how I missed the correspondence on this (because I’m not checking backpacks is just a theory), but Brandon is the Costume and Project Parent and I am the Daily Grinder, which is a division of labor we agreed on to ensure our kids actually graduate one day and move out, but he is out of town on a mancation, so this is on me. I cannot even handle signing a folder in late May; a colonial costume is cause for full, unrestrained despair.”

Lists and Lessons

(A friend of mine wondered how many books we owned vs. borrowing from the library, so I’ve added a (library) notation to all the books we borrowed. The rest are from our shelves.)

God Our Provider (CD) (Bible memory songs)
The Children's Illustrated Bible (reading through together, again)
The Action Bible (Luke)
Boys Bible (Levi)
The Gospel Story Bible: Discovering Jesus in the Old and New Testaments (Leif)
Telling God's Story: Year Two

Teaching Textbooks (daily lessons for all three boys)
Life of Fred (always)
Beast Academy
Drill worksheets

Various DVDs
Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas

Swim team practices and meet (swim lessons for Leif)

Fine Arts:

“We turn to stories and pictures and music because they show us who and what and why we are.”

― Madeleine L'Engle

Language Arts:
Writing With Ease Workbooks (Leif and Luke)
Writing With Skill Workbook (Levi) (I’m loving this program!)
All About Spelling (Levi and Luke: Level 4, lessons 5-7; Leif: Level 1-finished!, Level 2, lessons 1-2)
Letters to new penpals
Prescripts (the new handwriting workbooks from Classical Conversations)
MCT Language Arts, Voyage level

Latina Christiana (more review)
Minimus: Starting out in Latin (library)
3-day Latin camp for Levi

La Clase Divertida

Continental Blob Maps (from Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood)
Online geography games


History, Literature, and Historical Fiction:
The Story of the World: Volume 1: Ancient Times: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor (ch. 28-42, FINISHED!!!)
The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia (Levi, assigned pages)
The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History (Luke, assigned pages)
Wings by Jane Yolen (retelling of the Greek legend of Daedalus, literature) 
Lysis Goes to the Play (historical fiction, Greek theater) 
The Greeks (How They Made Things Work!) (library)
The Two Mountains: An Aztec Legend by Eric A. Kimmel (library) (literature)
The Aztecs (Explore Ancient Worlds) (library)
Alexander the Great by Demi (library, love Demi!) 
The Romans (How They Made Things Work!) (library)
Roman Diary: The Journal of Iliona of Mytilini: Captured and Sold as a Slave in Rome - AD 107 (just as fun as Castle Diary!, library) 
The Lantern Bearers (Roman Britain Trilogy) by Rosemary Sutcliff (historical fiction, Levi-IR, 219 pp)
Outcast by Rosemary Sutcliff (historical fiction, Roman Britain, Levi-IR, 229 pp) 
The Young Carthaginian by G.A. Henty (historical fiction, Punic Wars—Carthage/Rome, Levi-IR, 412 pp)
Heroes, Gods & Emperors from Roman Mythology (literature)
The Traveler's Guide to Ancient Rome
You Wouldn't Want to Be a Roman Soldier!: Barbarians You'd Rather Not Meet
Hannibal (First Books--Ancient Biographies) by Robert Green
Romans (Usborne)
Asterix and the Laurel Wreath (for fun)  Asterix and the Roman Agent Asterix and the Cauldron
I Wonder Why Romans Wore Togas
Rome In Spectacular Cross-Section by Stephen Biesty (one of my favorites—enough detail to spend hours pouring over…) 
Fairy Tales of India retold by Lucia Turnbull (library) (literature) 
Stories from India (Usborne) (literature)
The Ocean of Story: Fairy Tales from India (library) (literature)
Ancient India/Maurya Empire (Explore Ancient Worlds) (library)
Prince Siddhartha: The Story of Buddha
I Once Was a Monkey: Stories Buddha Told
India (Eyewitness Books)
The Empty Pot by Demi (China) (libarary) (literature)
Confucius Speaks: Words to Live By
Confucius: The Golden Rule (library)
The Terracotta Girl: A Story of Ancient China (historical fiction) (library)
The Emperor's Silent Army: Terracotta Warriors of Ancient China (library)
Ming Lo Moves the Mountain, Tikki Tikki Tembo, The Seven Chinese Brothers, The Lost Horse: A Chinese Folktale,
Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China, The Dragon Prince: A Chinese Beauty & the Beast Tale, The Funny Little Woman,
Cat and Rat: The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac (An Owlet Book),
The Master Swordsman & the Magic Doorway: Two Legends from Ancient China, Mei Li (all stories from China)


The Great Wall Of China
Qin Shi Huangdi: First Emperor of China
The Weaving of a Dream (China, literature, library) 
The Sons of the Dragon King: A Chinese Legend (China, literature, library)
The Greatest Treasure by Demi (China, literature, library)
Pompeii (Through Time) (I love Richard Platt’s Through Time books!) (library)
Roman City (David MaCaulay, DVD) (The boys also watched Pyramid, Castle, and Cathedral in this series)
Detectives in Togas (A fun historical fiction chapter book, 249 pp, IR-Levi and Luke) 
Roman Numerals I to MM: Liber De Difficillimo Computando Numerum
Saint Valentine
Saint Valentine
The Life & Times of Julius Caesar
Caesar's Gallic War by Olivia Coolidge
Pirate Diary: The Journal of Jake Carpenter (library, another hit by Platt and Riddell) 
Cleopatra by Diane Stanley
Sterling Biographies: Cleopatra: Egypt's Last and Greatest Queen (library)
Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile, Egypt, 57 B.C. (The Royal Diaries)
Julius Caesar (Shakespeare, DVD with Marlon Brando) (*literature)
The Life & Times of Nero
The Life & Times Of Constantine
Augustus Caesar's World
Famous Men of Rome
Jesus by Brian Wildsmith (library)
Peril and Peace: Chronicles of the Ancient Church
Fountain of life by Rebecca Martin (historical fiction, New Testament times)
Twice Freed by Patricia St. John (historical fiction, New Testament times)
Runaway by Patricia St. John (historical fiction, New Testament times)
Favorite Celtic Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs
(Ben Hur, The Bronze Bow, and The Silver Chalice—previously read/listened to)



Literature Study:
The Young Hans Christian Andersen (simple chapter book with illustrations, library) 
Hans Christian Andersen: His Fairy Tale Life (chapter book with fun illustrations, library) 
The Perfect Wizard: Hans Christian Andersen (lovely detailed picture book by Jane Yolen, library) 
The Ugly Ducking by Hans Christian Andersen and Robert Ingpen (library)
The Wild Swans by HCA and Naomi Lewis/Anne Yvonne Gilbert (library)
The Little Mermaid by HCA and Lisbeth Zwerger (library)
Thumbelina by HCA and Lauren Mills  (library)
The Princess and the Pea by Hans Christian Andersen (library)
The Wicked Prince by Hans Christian Andersen (library)
Rapunzel by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and Dorothee Duntze (library)
The Lady and the Lion by the Brothers Grimm and Laurel Long and Jacqueline K. Ogburn (library)
King Midas and the Golden Touch by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Kathryn Hewitt (library)
Tenggren's Golden Tales from the Arabian Nights (library)
The Tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves: A Story from the Arabian Nights (library)


Levi’s Free Reading:
Return to the Willows by Jacqueline Kelly (library)
Inkheart (Inkheart Trilogy) by Cornelia Funke(library)
Inkspell (Inkheart Trilogy) (library)
Inkdeath (Inkheart Trilogy) (library)
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai (library)
The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan and Peter Sis (library)
(I can’t keep up with all the books Levi picks up and reads, sometimes whole and sometimes in parts and pieces…)

Luke’s Free Reading:
The Sirens of Surrentum (Roman Mysteries, book 11) by Caroline Lawrence (library)
Hollywood, Dead Ahead (43 Old Cemetery Road) (library)
The Charioteer of Delphi (The Roman Mysteries #12) (library)
The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan and Peter Sis (library)
Joust of Honor (Knight's Story) by Stewart and Riddell (library)

Leif’s Free Reading:
Dodsworth series by Tim Egan (library)
Magic Tree House books (library)

Miscellaneous Lovely Picture Books:
Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball (library)
What Charlie Heard (composer Charles Ives) (library) 
Look Up!: Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer (library)
Wonders and Miracles: A Passover Companion by Eric A. Kimmel (library)
The Three Questions [Based on a story by Leo Tolstoy]
Prince of the Birds (southern Spain) (library)
Buried Blueprints: Maps and Sketches of Lost Worlds and Mysterious Places (library)
My Robots: The Robotic Genius of Lady Regina Bonquers III (library)
The Seven Silly Eaters (library)
Allen Say biography and multiple picture books (library)

Brave (library)
Nanny McPhee Returns (library)

3-day Latin camp for Levi
3-day Parent Practicum for me

"I had always felt life first as a story: and if there is a story there is a story-teller."

— G.K. Chesterton


Windhover Farm said...

Thanks for all those wonderful links. I am looking forward to a quiet hour to check them out. Ha! Don't ever stop blogging please. Even if it means your whole house looks like your office area.

Baby Boberg & Parents said...

Thank you! I was wondering the same thing about which ones were library books. Even though my little guys are 3 1/2, 19mths, with another on the way, I have lots of ideas on how I would like our homeschool to look. You've given me many great ideas. Love your lists!